It's hyped as the greatest rivalry in all of sports. For a 117th time Navy will face Army (6-5) on the gridiron.
“The amount of emotion and work that goes into it, the people that play in it, it's more than just a game,” said Navy slot back Calvin Cass Jr.
“This game has been played forever,” said Navy defensive end Amos Mason.
“What we do on this field is going to resonate with us for years to come,” said Army linebacker Andrew King.
Some of the best our country has to offer are set to provide the main event for a Saturday spectacle at M&T Bank Stadium. As for 9-3 Navy, the Mids are on the rebound after losing the American Athletic Conference title game to Temple last Saturday. Even after such an emotional loss, they say this is the game that matters most.
“This is definitely our biggest game of the year. You don't have time to sulk. You don't have time to complain. You gotta find a way to press forward,” said Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo.
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The Midshipmen have won a series record 14 consecutive games against Army but a 15th straight will be tougher than it looked like a few days ago. Star quarterback Will Worth and slot back Toneo Gulley, both suffered injuries during Saturday's loss. Worth injured his right foot, Gulley his left. The duo, that is so important to Navy's success, will miss the most important game of the season.
“It's tough,” said the senior Gulley. “It being my last year, I really wanted to play in this game. It's the sad truth that I won't. I have to get the next man ready to play.
That man is Calvin Cass Jr., whose father actually played for Army almost 30 years ago.
Kickoff on Saturday is set for 3:10 p.m.